On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intraparty War

I know that a lot of us want to put our heads down and get Democrats elected, no matter what.  And we will, because we are loyal Democrats who follow the rules. Our power comes from our principles and our willingness to play as a team to improve all of our lots.

Unfortunately, just like the Senate Democrats want to hurt us in Connecticut, New Democrats are sadly spending their time setting up the next session to beat up on progressives, according to the New York Times.

Representative Ellen O. Tauscher of California, a co-chairwoman of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, said that 27 of the top 40 contested House seats were being pursued by Democrats who have pledged to become members of the group, which says its chief issues are national security and fiscal responsibility.

"I think there's tremendous agreement and awareness that getting the majority and running over the left cliff is what our Republican opponents would dearly love," Ms. Tauscher said, adding that this was something "we've got to fight."

You know, I wish that we could have party unity, but it's obvious that New Democrats simply cannot help themselves.  They have to go through the 1980s and 1990s all over again, no matter what.

UPDATE: To those who are accusing me of sparking some sort of divisiveness, let me just point out that it was Tauscher who decided to go to the New York Times and talk about us needing to be fought tooth and nail.

Tags: CA-10, Ellen Tauscher, New Democrats (all tags)

Comments

53 Comments

Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Fortunately, far more Congressional Progressive Caucus members will actually be in a position of power in the new Democratic majority.

by College Progressive 2006-10-29 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Matt, I'm afraid you sound a bit Leninist.  Slow down a bit.

by swampdredger 2006-10-29 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Because capitulation and giving up on the base worked so well in the 80's and 90's.  The DLC/New Democrats do it again...

by jlove1982 2006-10-29 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr
Dumb thing to say.
Fight after the midterm.
by Democraticavenger 2006-10-29 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

We have to be ready for this fight the night of the election, as results are being counted.  

Please rest assured, there will be New-Dem types on the air, giving credit for any victories to Rahm Emmanuel rather than those who supported the 50-state strategy.  

It's important that we have our people out there before Tuesday night is over, taking credit for victory.

And we better be ready to fight over who gets committee chairs, because that fight too begins Tuesday night.  You snooze, you lose.

by Dumbo 2006-10-29 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: New Democrats Declare Intraparty War

If that's what they want, that's what they'll have. National security and fiscal responsibility are important issues where Democrats can and should lead the way. Progressive Democrats have no quarrel with them over the two.

However, when they team with corporate interests to screw the middle class, allow environmental degradation and let right-wing authoritarians erode - and now, even revoke - our Constitutional rights, they cease to be Democrats. In that case, we have two more years to find better candidates to field against them. When they are beaten in the primaries they may, like Lieberman, can run on their own ticket and become pseudo-Republicans, or they'll just fade into lobby-land.

by Spiffarino 2006-10-29 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: New Democrats Declare Intraparty War

Many conservative Democrats will feel smug with the success of Joe Lieberman, but in truth how many times will the Republicans refuse to field a real candidate and ally themselves with the loser of the Democratic primary?

Not often.

The vast majority of the time a politician who loses the primary will be seeking a new career. And they know it.

This is a lot of bluster. But the people hold the power over them and we have to hold their feet to the fire and not let up.

Now that we've elected you here's what we expect!

Of course we can't be surprised or get upset and huffy when we are betrayed. That's normal. What's key is what happens next AFTER we are betrayed.

We have to get revenge against our enemies, either within the party or without. We embarass them, criticize them, raise money for candidates to run against them, and generally organize to put the fear of God into them.

IT'S THE SYSTEM STUPID!

It's not the man and it's not personal. Until we constitute an effective powerful lobby that won't take any B.S. from the Democrats in Congress then we can expect them to try and ignore, criticize and repudiate us.

Frankly, it's our fault, not theirs. We get what we deserve. That's what Henry David Thoreau said over 100 years ago and it's still true. When we are no longer weak then we will get respect. Until then it's going to be a constant battle. It's pointless to expect anything else.

by Cugel 2006-10-29 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

?? Did I miss the Declaration of War or something?

"You know, I wish that we could have party unity, but it's obvious that New Democrats simply cannot help themselves."

Yes I'm sure you're just positively grief stricken at the prospect of an intra party war (of who'm you're the one advertising & promoting) I mourn your broken heart.  

by Epitome22 2006-10-29 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Uh, hello. Did you not read the post? Did you not see that the New Democrats are launching the first salvo?

by Aquaria 2006-10-30 02:15AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

we have to build a party consensus and there are many ways of doing this. there's no reason to demonize either progressives or centrists. its just so stupid.

by Chris G 2006-10-29 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

There's nothing "Centrist" about the DLC.  Corporatism is Extremism.  

They've been attacking attacking not only progressive and liberals but the party grassroots and labor since the inception of the DLC.  

That's the whole reason the 'new dems' exist is to shift power from the grassroots and labor to big business.

Regardless, I don't think any of us want this fight right now.  Shame on the Congresswoman for going there at this time.

by malik5470 2006-10-29 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

agreed.

i understand we need to redefine the political center, but simply insisting that the DLC is extremist won't do it. in one fell swoop you alienate many fiscal conservatives who are not, in fact, corrupt bogeymen, and who we may actually have a shot of building a consensus with. the ideal outcome, in my view, would be persuading key DLCers of smart, progressive policy.

by Chris G 2006-10-30 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

I find their smugness annoying. Since when did non leftists have a monopoly over fiscal responsibility. What has the DLC done to fight corruption in government contracts and pork barrel projects?

by Pravin 2006-10-29 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

You bring up one of the most salient issues: That the DLC, epitomized by Joe Lieberman, gives cover to the Republican corruption machine.

IMHO, corporatism has no place in Democratic ideology. It is anathema to a free society. Corporations are not people and should not be treated as such either in law or in practice.

by Spiffarino 2006-10-30 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats

This is why, IF we get a big enough majority, say ten seats or more, it'd be pretty cool if both Bean and Duckworth lose in Illinois.  It'd serve them right.

And in the Senate, I LOVE Sherrod Brown, Jon Tester, and Whitehouse and Webb.

Ford?  Well, I'd like him to win, but don't really care if he loses either.

And trust me on this one:  if Pederson ran a more progressive campaign (not hard to do against THE most conservative senator in the chamber, Jon Kyl), he'd be ahead right now.  Most Arizonans cannot articulate what the major differences are between Pederson and Kyl.  When that happens, the incumbent wins everyfuckingtime.

by jgarcia 2006-10-29 07:18PM | 0 recs
"I LOVE Sherrod Brown"

Beats me how anyone can LOVE a guy who voted with Bush for torture and against the Constitution.

Vote for him as the lesser of evils? Sure.

LOVE him? No way.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 07:22PM | 0 recs
Why am I not surprised?

The reactionary corporatist element of the Democratic party will have to be subdued if Democrats are ever again to govern according to their own party's principles and platform.

If they want to start the war, fine. Hopefully they'll do something so provocative and enraging (i.e. Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor) as to wake up the multitude of ordinary Democrats who have yet to realize who has been and is poisoning their party from within.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 07:18PM | 0 recs
Yeah

The election is less than two weeks away.  Democrats are poised for a major blowout.  Site traffic is increasing and will expand dramatically, even among the mainstream press who have learned to look to us for insight into what is happening in the trenches.  And Stoller chooses this time to announce that the Democratic Party is At War With Itself!  

Dude.. shut the fuck up.  First, I think the term 'fight' in the quote is not meant to be taken literally.  Democrats have not fallen to civil war.  Second, party unity: Good.  Absolutism: Bad.  Respect and civility is important.  I agree that Tauscher may have crossed the line here.  I hope you can see that you have too.  

After 6 years of Bush absolutism, if the Democrats can take back control of congress, there will be enough fight without the internecine war that Stoller is imagining.  

by Winston Smith 2006-10-29 07:20PM | 0 recs
"Dude.. shut the fuck up"

Freerepublic.com is thata way >>>>>>>>>>

by Kobi 2006-10-29 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: "Dude.. shut the fuck up"

Oops.  Well, you shoulda read the unabridged version.  But always a good reminder.  Thanks Kobi! (User ID number 18,333.)

by Winston Smith 2006-10-29 07:30PM | 0 recs
You're welcome User ID number Who Cares?

by Kobi 2006-10-29 07:50PM | 0 recs
Wait indeed.

"You're right that Matt could really wait two weeks for this..."

It's the DLCer who should have waited two weeks for this. She talks like the election is in the bag and the DLC can turn it's attention to fighting the very grassroot Democrats upon whose shoulders they stand.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 07:56PM | 0 recs
Welcome to the Gang of 500 narrative

Near-identical stories in the LA Times and NYT, on how the Dems are promoting conservative and moderate candidates, with the unstated premise (or stated, in the LAT's case) being that they're helping to usher in Freaky Pelosi and her Scary Black Chairmen.

A cynic would conclude that the DLCists were pushing this hard. What, precisely, involves running off the 'left cliff'? Raising the minimum wage? Getting Medicare the bargaining powers that were stripped from it? Investigating White House corruption?

by etagloh 2006-10-29 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to the Gang of 500 narrative

Let's start calling these scare tactics about all the black Chairmen by what it is:

IT IS FUCKING RACISM!!!  

No better than the RNC down in Tennessee!!!  Let's start calling them on it and fight back!

by jgarcia 2006-10-29 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election,

Ellen Tauscher is an elitist bitch who thinks that all Democratic districts resemble hers.  Doesn't her district have more money than god?

They'd probably spit in your face if you bought them a bottle of wine for less than five hundred bucks.  Her district is THE epitome of socially liberal, environmentally liberal, but a fuck-the-poor fiscal conservatism.  I'd bet you dollars to donuts that Arnold wins in her area for Governor.

People in those types of districts should shut their fucking mouths about what others should do.

by jgarcia 2006-10-29 08:03PM | 0 recs
My point is

A DLC mouthpiece attacked the liberals or progressives who are out there toiling and voting for them in spite of their misgivings. They need us more than we need them.

A few are saying we should turn the other cheek, but the fact is, we have none left to turn.

And besides, turning the other cheek to DLCers is like turning the other cheek to GOPers. It only emboldens them. Whether it's two weeks or two years to the election, they have to be slapped back so fast that they'll learn to fear.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 08:08PM | 0 recs
My point is

A DLC mouthpiece attacked the liberals or progressives who are out there toiling and voting for them in spite of their misgivings. They need us more than we need them.

A few are saying we should turn the other cheek, but the fact is, we have none left to turn.

And besides, turning the other cheek to DLCers is like turning the other cheek to GOPers. It only emboldens them. Whether it's two weeks or two years to the election, they have to be slapped back so fast that they'll learn to fear.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Intraparty War

You knew that the DLC would do this.

First of all, I seriously doubt that number. The DLC have this knack for accepting credit for things they had absolutely nothing to do with. Besides many members of the DLC are actually quite "liberal" and only side with them because it makes them "look" more moderate.

Second, the progressives still have a large majority in the House. So as for Congresswoman whats-her-name, "Who gives a fuck!"

Third, if the DLC want an internal war. They'll lose.

Fourth, everyone is beginning to posture for the upcoming 2008 primaries. That's when the "war" will get nasty and actually MEAN something. The DLC are nobodies. If that hasn't occurred to people by now, then it never will. They are all about "looking strong," not about "being strong." If they actually were strong then they wouldn't have to play these stupid childish games. The DLC is a money machine and nothing more. They stick themselves to winning candidates, not the other way around. Many of those "New Democrats" have no ideological attachment to the DLC (and on the flip side are not necessarily against them either).  

Finally, let this be a lesson for us all. We need to find a STRONG candidate, rally behind him/her, and stick with them to the end. We need to elect one of our own.

This is just the DLC puffing their chest and looking like idiots.

by JackBourassa 2006-10-29 08:10PM | 0 recs
Stoller = Officer Malone from The Untouchables

I give Matt credit for being consistent.

He's definitely from the 'You put one of ours in the hospital, we put one of yours in the morgue' school of politics.

The DLC's future prospects rest entirely in the Senate. If Harold Ford wins the DLC will get a little breath of fresh air. If Joe Lieberman wins there will be about 10,000 committed foot soldiers who want to burn their proverbial homes and salt their proverbial fields. Disrespecting the Democratic primary voters of CT was the last betrayal. There is no 'D' in DLC if their poster boy gets elected with 80% GOP voters.

Best case scenario for the DLC
Harold Ford wins TN. Lieberman loses CT. DLC gets second wind with a fresh face. Netroots backs off because Tennessee isn't Connecticut and Ford gets his Ben Nelson get out of orthodoxy free card based on his electoral prospects. Like anti-Baldwin sentiment waning when Stephen stopped appearing in movies, anti-DLC sentiment wanes when Joe Lieberman stops appearing in the Senate.

Worst case scenario for the DLC.
Joe Lieberman wins. Blogosphere embraces Joe Lieberman like Khan embraces Captain Kirk in Star Trek II. "I've done far worse than kill you, Senator. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her: marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet, buried alive. Buried alive."

Jane Harman will straighten out Ellen T.. I'm all for the big tent, I just get tired of the DLC pissing down my back and calling it rain. Piss out the tent and we all get along. The DLC wants to piss in the tent AND call out progressives for having such bad manners as to yell "Hey, stop pissing in the fucking tent!" when the DLC drops trou. F$%k that.

by joejoejoe 2006-10-29 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

I've got to agree with those who posted above - this intra-party fight (and it is one that needs to be fought, and won, by us) can wait until after the election.

8 days to go...keep the eye on the ball, period.

by PsiFighter37 2006-10-29 08:15PM | 0 recs
My 2 cents

This election season is showing the results of the years of effort we have all put in.

We are seeing the beginnings of a huge change in the overall tone of the electorate, the portrayal of Republicans, their leadership, and their media mouthpieces.

I think that we will see significant Democratic gains in both houses of congress, and even more significant gains in governorships, state offices ( S.o.S and A.G. for example) and state legislatures.

I think the Democratic Party will emerge from the election with a 10-20 seat majority in the House and within 1 seat of a majority in the senate.

What we should do leading up to, and following this election is very simple:

Recruit more people to join Democratic Party organizations at the basic, grassroots, local branch level. Recruit them yourself, get them to join, and keep up the heat on both the GOP and on the Democratic Party upper echelons.

Our strategy - 50 states, challenge every seat and contest every race, capture the broad base, and look for victory in the "Long Tail" is the way to win, and we have shown that our strategy and tactics, netroots, grassroots, local, person-to-person politics WORKS. Election results over the last 15-20 years shows that the old model, top-down, corporate-friendly, machine-style political insider gamesmanship does NOT work. This election season is as exciting as it is specifically and directly because of the upsurge in direct action by you, and me, and our friends, families, and allies. Time to seal the deal, and make the Democratic Party OUR party, for good!

The gnashing of teeth, whining, and savage backstabbing we are now seeing from the party insiders and corporate-friendly types is nothing more than the wailing of a defeated and desperate group of sell-outs and fingers-to-the-wind opportunists. They are attempting to "condition the battlefield" for the fight for party control that is looming.

Don't buy their attempt at spin and hype, prepare for that fight now. Join your local Democratic Party organization RIGHT NOW.

Show up to meetings, get elected to vacant positions, bring bodies - your friends, your co-workers, you fellow unionists, your fellow activists, and get them behind the push to capture and own the infrastructure.

by RedDan 2006-10-29 08:17PM | 0 recs
Politics 101

Tauscher of California, a co-chairwoman of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, said that 27 of the top 40 contested House seats were being pursued by Democrats who have pledged to become members of the group, which says its chief issues are national security and fiscal responsibility.

Yeah, we definitely don't want to lead on national security or fiscal responsibility.  Those are two of the three legs of the Republican Party stool (the third being Christianity).  If we took over those issues and handled them well, then the Republicans...wouldn't have anything...to...run.....on.

Hey...wait a minute....

by MarkB 2006-10-29 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: My point is

I can multi-task.

by Kobi 2006-10-29 08:26PM | 0 recs
The Club for Growth comes to mind

Lets focus on getting the house now.  Next, recruit progressives to run against DINOs.  Lets make it clear that we will not go away after the election.

by jncamane 2006-10-29 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

You know what I didn't even know Ellen O. Tauscher's name. But now that i do I don't ever want to hear her open her mouth again.

There is so much wrong here with this announcement its not even worth bothering. If anybody dem or otherwise thinks they are going to take non-populist  positions post election they have another think coming. AIPAC is done. It's their bullshit that helped get us into this disastrous position. There are smarter foreign policy positions then the AIPAC ones.

If this group wants to get into Joe Lieberman's position, being a target to both sides. Then go for it.

My advice to the New Dems. SHUT THE HELL UP.

by smacfarl 2006-10-29 08:44PM | 0 recs
by DCDavid 2006-10-29 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Stoller = Officer Malone from The Untouchables

I welcome a big tent. I think what Matt is frustrated about is the way these bastards treat a lot of the base. If democrats fought republicans with the same cold bloodedness they  fought their own, maybe the party would win more elections.

And staying on the same point, if REpubs fought terrorism with the same ruthless efficiency with which they fight democrats, maybe we would be better off in the war on terrorism.,

by Pravin 2006-10-29 08:50PM | 0 recs
Keep your eye on the ball

Dont divide us now.  Do the finger pointing after the election.

That goes for everyone as well as MyDD.

by jasmine 2006-10-29 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Wait indeed.

Laura Swarz was on a tv show once and said this"why should we cater to the liberal base. Who else can they vote for" . this idiotic comment from this bitch comes a few years after the Nader debacle in 2000(lost amidst the Nader votes were the votes not cast at all in a low turnout election among the dem base).

When you hear such talk from past Clinton employees, you gotta teach them that actions have consequences. Compromise is good. But taking it like a bitch aint. The way the Democratic Party has treated the Lamont supporters was like they considered us their bitches. People like LIeberman and DLCers use the big tent plea only when it suits them. Lieberman was not in favor of a big tent when the country was intimidated into supporting the war.

I compromise. I am not a big public school fan, yet I vote democratic.

by Pravin 2006-10-29 08:55PM | 0 recs
DLC is not just Al From or Bruce Reed

Remember Tom Vilsalk is on our side and he is the president of DLC.

This new Dems from Red State areas may be very conservative but at least they will vote a Dem majority speaker and Pelosi controls the agenda.

Next time we work to get more progressive candidates.  

by jasmine 2006-10-29 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Not standing a circle when asked to form a firing squad has always been the Democratic Party's biggest  hurdle.  The big tent usually creates the best policies, but not always the best politics, as we see here.

How to avoid this trap?  Ronald Reagan was The Great Communicator largely because he made conservative ideas seem mainstream.  We need to do the same.  If we can package truly progressive ideas as something every moderate person would think reasonable, then we will start winning everywhere.  Then our intraparty 'war' will dissipate.  

There will still be a few Liebermans among us, and we should cast them out, but success gets copied, so we should focus on getting progressives elected and reelected in what are considered non-progressive districts/states.  And then watch the DLCers come our way.  Voila!, internal war largely gone.

by parmenides 2006-10-29 09:02PM | 0 recs
New Dems will at least vote for Dem speaker

...which will be Pelosi and she is progressive and will control the agenda.

These new Dems will just be junior players.

by jasmine 2006-10-29 09:03PM | 0 recs
by DCDavid 2006-10-29 09:09PM | 0 recs
And of course the NYT sides w/the BlueDoggers

That's why they put this piece of tripe on the front page of their dead-tree edition (the resounding victory of Brazil's Lula only rated a brief mention in contrast, even though Lula's win means that Latin America's progressive turn is now confirmed and will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse).

by Phoenix Woman 2006-10-30 03:51AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

Uh, so Jim Webb and Ned Lamont are crazy, kooky, off-the-cliff lefties?
   She's not (really) talking about ideology here, she's talking about power. She's basically said there she thinks regular people are idiots- whether they're netroots activists or rural voters that require urban condescension.

People who insult their own party on the eve of elections, on the other hand, those people are strategic geniuses. And, y'know, those rural imbeciles? Clearly they don't have a clue when they complain that Dem. leaders condescend to them.

What a charming effort on Rahm's part to reclaim the 50 state strategy for himself. Well, he picked the right spot, anyway- the Times loves a good history rewrite.

by sb 2006-10-30 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr
Ha ha. THis is the perfect rejoinder. Webb is clearly not your typical liberal. But a lot of liberals have found common ground with them despite differences over some of his ideology.
There is a big tent for you if you do not piss all over the rest.
by Pravin 2006-10-30 04:50AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats Declare Intr

They are afraid because we want REAL change. We want REAL reform. We want REAL progressives in office. That would endanger the cushy jobs they hold and love so much. TOUGH. This is a dogfight for the control of the party. Its a fight to take our country back. And it wont be easy. We better be prepared for the long haul because they wont give up control easy.

by druidbros 2006-10-30 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: On Eve of Election, New Democrats...

I've never really believed we were winning this election through unity, frankly.  I know it's a nice idea, but aren't winning because of an incredibly productive tension?

That's why CT is so important--because it is ground zero of the rift,  the fracture, the fight, the phoenix rising in our house that's driving things forward.  

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-10-30 04:55AM | 0 recs
The Centrists are setting up to steal the win

Take a look at people like the Bullshit Moose, gang.  They are all laying the groundwork to claim this election was a rejection of both the left and the right.

Bastards.  If it weren't for the left hauling their water on the Iraq War every day since 2002, these pricks would be in no position to win.

I generally consider myself a centrist, but it disgusts me to look at the people in Washington who have taken the center as their own identity in order just to get ahead in politics.

by jcjcjc 2006-10-30 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: The Centrists are setting up to steal the win

I used to be a centrist - now the old center is pushed over to radical leftist and the new center is where moderately hard rightist used to be.

by puppet10 2006-10-30 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: My point is

One thing I don't take seriously is Democrats who wear blinders and sweep ugly truths under the rug. Such people weaken the party.

by Kobi 2006-10-30 07:02AM | 0 recs
My prediction

you will not turn to those of us that have warned of this.

by pyrrho 2006-10-30 11:40AM | 0 recs
Tauscher and CA-11

She totally built up Steve Filson, the "centrist" former Republican.  Of course, he got slaughtered.  A bit more on her little BS in this:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/5 /2/163228/9361

by utbrian 2006-10-30 02:17PM | 0 recs

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